Hosting a conference call in real life requires a lot of preparation. Organizing a conference meeting takes a lot of work, time and effort. The process is even more intense when the meeting is not to be done in person but over the phone. It is difficult to have all members attend, discuss and come up with productive solutions.
But it is not impossible to host a constructive conference call. It is very possible but you will be required to prepare thoroughly and conduct the meeting following all the guidelines enlisted here. Just follow through these steps and you will have successful conference calls in real life.
Good planning is the backbone of a great conference call. First of all you will be required to determine a date that is suitable for all members you intend to involve in the meeting. Once you set the date and time, communicate it to all members in advance and remind them at a later time.
The agenda of the meeting also needs to be planned in advance and communicated to the members attending. Get all the reference material you will need for the meeting and send it to the conference members in advance.
Choose a reliable conference calling service
A conference calling service that is not reliable will result in disconnects and other problems. Test the platform before you decide to use it as the platform for holding the meeting. Encourage the members to familiarize themselves with the platform so they have no problem using it during the call.
Send invites early
You cannot just plan a conference call meeting today and set it for tomorrow. Most people will have their schedules filled for the day and you may end up being the only one attending.
On the invites state the time and date of the meeting, objective of the meeting, agenda and the duration of the meeting. When the meeting time nears be courteous and send a reminder. The busy people may not remember unless you remind them.
Be early and take control
Since you are the one in control of the meeting, its success is up to you. The first step to ensure this is to be early for the meeting and make it easy for other members to join in.
Start with a roll call of all members so they know each other and the role they play in the meeting. Go first and then guide others through the procedure. Everyone should state their name, company they work for and their role. Encourage them to start with their names every time they speak.
Once you have established the members present, remind them of the agenda items. The discussion can then begin under your control. Be in charge of bringing order to the discussion like encouraging turn-taking so people can hear each other. Practice proper communication skills with authority but without being rude.
Keep time and finish the meeting on time.
Once the meeting comes to an end, thank all the members for attending and summarize the resolutions achieved during the meeting. Drop the call and sit down to summarize the highlights of the meeting. Quote these in the thank you email you will send as a follow up later. Inform the members of the next meeting as well.